Kids for Coltrane

Posts Tagged ‘Jazz

A BLUESMAN IN THE LIFE OF THE MIND, AND A JAZZMAN IN THE WORLD OF IDEAS

What a joy it was to meet Dr. Cornel West on April 16, 2013 at New York University. The topic was moral courage. Cornel West and Irshad Manji are cultural entrepreneurs who both spoke that evening. Dr. West is someone I admire for his moral courage and brilliant intellect, but until that evening I did not know he also was greatly inspired by the life and music of John Coltrane. The audience was illuminated by a discussion about power, democracy, innovation — and our individual role in all three. After the seminar, I spoke to Dr. West about the Kids for Coltrane Project in Education. The following week, I found myself dining with Dr. West discussing the importance of my the Kids for Coltrane Project, and related topics of illumination. Breathing rarefied air I will treasure the conversation and look forward to sharing more of my project with Dr. Cornel West in the future. “You can’t lead the people if you don’t love the people. You can’t save the people if you don’t serve the people.” ~ Dr. Cornel West

Educator Christine Termini Passarella speaking with director and actor John Turturro about his new film Passione which tells the story of Naples through song. John states that this place represents many cities that have undergone hardships but the strength is in its people. The film is filled with an enormous amount of talent and spectacular music.

Passione is an amazing film that takes the audience on a historical journey of a city which experienced many challenges and rises up through the gifts of its people. Music is at the root of the expression of the townspeople from the very beginning. The title song Passione is performed by an Italian jazz musician James Senese. His mother is Italian and his dad was an African-American soldier. Although James did not know his father, he left his mother with the gift of understanding the importance of blues and jazz music which she shared with James. The power of musical expression had a profound impact on his life. James is one of the many interesting and talented personalities that we meet in this exquisite treasure.

This is great video created by Bret Primack explaining the special friendship of two jazz  legends John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins. On September 7th Sonny is celebrating his birthday. I would like to celebrate Sonny and his contribution to music and his love of humanity which he  is expresses exquisitely. Explore the music and lives of the Jazz masters…you will hear brilliance…you will also learn moving and powerful American stories.

One of my favorite poems

The Soul’s Expression by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

With stammering lips and insufficient sound
I strive and struggle to deliver right
That music of my nature, day and night
With dream and thought and feeling interwound
And only answering all the senses round
With octaves of a mystic depth and height
Which step out grandly to the infinite
From the dark edges of the sensual ground.
This song of soul I struggle to outbear
Through portals of the sense, sublime and whole,
And utter all myself into the air:
But if I did it, – as the thunder – roll
Breaks its own cloud, my flesh would perish there,
Before that dread apocalypse of soul.

A beautiful evening honoring exquiste music and gifted musicians John Coltrane and Miles Davis…pic with board members from The Friends of the Coltrane Home…the lovely lady at the far right is Kathleen Coltrane, the wife of saxophonist Ravi Coltrane. It was thrilling to meet her. She is proud of The Kids for Coltrane and supports my work in education. Thank you Kathleen!

After the show, I was invited backstage to meet some of the incredible musicians who performed in honor of John Coltrane and Miles Davis. Please see below. You can tell by everyone’s smiles that it was a joy to be part of this special and memorable event.

wpa44  wpa51 wpa3 wpa2 

jalccoltmiles-0062

 Backstage with Alto Saxophonist Sherman Irby, Singer Dave Thomas, Tenor and Soprano Saxophonist Walter Blanding, and Pianist Mulgrew Miller…and my daughter. I was also hoping to talk to the legend Jimmy Cobb who treated the audience to his powerful gift on the drums, but he had already left the building. I wanted to tell him all about The Kids for Coltrane.

Ms. Christine Termini Passarella meeting saxophonist Ravi Coltrane at Birdland NYC. Ravi was proud of The Kids for Coltrane. We raised $1,500 for the non profit group Friends of the Coltrane Home…please check out their site and mission. The Kids for Coltrane dream of the day that John’s Long Island home is transformed into a learning museum!

The Kids for Coltrane with contributions from Jazz at Lincoln Center…Thank you Joanna Massey. Your support meant so much to us!

William holding his grand prize , an Eastwood guitar.

First prize winner Maya with her little sister holding a letter of support from the  Clinton Foundation and the book Giving. President Clinton donated an autographed copy of his book and dedicated it to Maya. She was thrilled to receive it, and be part of this philanthropic effort!! An extra special thank you goes out to saxophone player and former President of the United States of America William Jefferson Clinton.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about "Kids for Coltrane", posted with vodpod

The Holliswood School children, friends and families  listening to gifted musician Louis Vignapiano performing at The Kids for Coltrane Event.  Throughout the year Mr. Vignapiano shares his original instrumental compositions with the Kids for Coltrane. The  students have discovered the wonderful world of songwriting.


%d bloggers like this: